AFP: Dismissal of cops in killing of Army intel agents in Sulu should lead to court trial, judgment
MANILA, Philippines—The military on Monday (Nov. 30) said it welcomed the recommendation to dismiss nine policemen facing charges for the killing of four Army intelligence officers in Sulu but was looking forward to the filing of civil and criminal cases as well.
Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, said the dismissal of the nine policemen, recommended by the Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS), would be an administrative penalty.
The AFP, he said, was looking forward to the “two-fold criminal and civil liabilities of those involved in the murder of our soldiers.”
“We are waiting anxiously for that day that such verdict will be reached to begin from the filing of the cases, trial and decision rendered by a competent court,” Arevalo said in a statement.
But PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas, whose approval was needed to make the dismissal recommendation enforceable, said it has yet to reach his office.
Aside from recommending dismissal for the nine policemen, the PNP-IAS also recommended sanctions for two higher officials of the Sulu police force for command responsibility—Lt. Col. Walter Annayo, then chief of the Sulu police force, and Capt. Ariel Consino, head of the provincial drug enforcement unit of the Sulu police.
Annayo, who was sacked from his post after the shooting of the Army intelligence agents in Jolo, was gunned down in Maguindanao a few days ago. Sinas has ordered an investigation of the apparent assassination.
Four Army intelligence officers were shot dead by policemen at a checkpoint in Sulu last June in what police had initially described as a “misencounter” but which the military said was murder.
“We will not renege on our commitment to our soldier-victims and their loved ones that we will pursue this quest for justice until it is served judiciously and with due haste,” Arevalo said.
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